Friday, April 4, 2008

"MHGS Worked For Me!" - My life as promo

In general, our school has a pretty fun and post-modern slant on development and fundraising. For example, we don't call our supporters "donors" we call them accomplices- we implicate them in what goes on here. Has a nice ring of danger and criminality to it.
Well, every couple months, our accomplices get a newsletter with a little interview or reflection from a student, staff member, faculty member and alum. This month I got to be the student. They said write whatever I wanted, but it made most sense to try to summarize why I came here, what its been like and more or less, why i think we're worth giving money to. So, here's my little blurb. It's hardly even the tip of the iceberg as far as why I'm here and what's happened, but it's still accurate- it sounds a lot more simple and shiny than it really is. But that's typically how blurbs work anyway.

Student Reflection
Kj Swanson
Master of Divinity Student

In Spring of 2006 I decided to leave my life in New York City, working various capacities in the Off-Broadway theatre world, and see what would happen if I gave as much time and study to my love of God as I’d given to my love of theatre. Since that was the goal (I called it marrying my passion for God to my passion for academia), the 2 year Christian Studies degree program seemed ideal. By the spring of my first year, however, it became increasingly apparent that the kind of exploration, deep questioning and vigorous creativity I was being called into here at MHGS needed more than 48 credits worth of investment.

I sought advisement from faculty members, talked with other students, and wondered out loud what exactly it was I wanted from my time at MHGS. What emerged was my need for trial and error; a praxis approach to dreaming on behalf of the church, the arts and contemporary culture. What if I could actually DO some of the things I’ve dreamt of before leaving Mars Hill Graduate School?

It was a short road from these questions to switching to the 4 year MDiv program. The change has been life-giving. During that time of questioning, I also joined student leadership as a member of Sacred Space, and have thus had a solid support system for taking creative risks out of a desire to serve and give voice to the spiritual longings in our community. It takes my breath away to see, for the first time in my life, how the ways I have worked, thought and created for theatre can now make sense liturgically, worshipfully and relationally. The beauty of this community challenged me to see and hear more clearly what God was calling my heart towards. I’m so thankful and excited to have two more years with Mars Hill Graduate School.

1 comment:

lucy said...

I love this Kj...